The musings, politics, frustrations and triumphs of an extrovertedly introverted musician from Philadelphia, PA.
Next shows: Blue Scheme: Wed., November 12 (blue scheme on last), Grape Street Pub [Manayunk], w/Lazlo and Secret Society, 105 Grape St., Philadelphia, $5, 21+, Doors at 9:00 pm
Wed., November 19 (blue scheme on first) Malokai's/Club 218 South [Center City], w/TBA 218 South St., Philadelphia $6, 21+, Doors at 9:00 pm
Fri., November 21 (blue scheme on second) Tokio Ballroom [Center City], w/Wellstar and Heather G 122 Lombard St., Philadelphia $5, 21+. Doors at 8:00 pm Yellow Brain: Saturday, December 27, Fergie's Pub, 1214 Sansom, Philadelphia, 9:30pm
Open up the floodgates; Al B. Tross; He's really got some serious V.O.; and Soup's on, you crazy dancer
The drought is over. Amen. Hallelujah.
I've finally written a new song. It's been a long time coming, but that time is here.
I think it's pretty good, which probably means that it's terrible. But that doesn't matter. What matters is that it's done, and that now I've got some momentum to finish more new songs and tie up all of these loose ideas floating around in my head.
There's this drum-and-bass song that I've been struggling with for the better part of two years. It would be nice to get that done. It's so old it was when our band consisted of six people instead of five, which was in 2001. Every time I get close to finishing it, I blow it up again in dissatisfaction.
Most of my songs are stories and this one is no different. I'm primarily unhappy with the way I tell the story. And then it affects how the music is structured. Then the musical structure in turn affects the way I tell the story. Ah, the vicious cycle. This song is and has been my albatross. But I'm hoping to actually finish it...this year. Thankfully, this hasn't kept me from finishing other songs. But the group is chomping at the bit to play it, so I feel like I owe it to them to get it done as soon as I can.
During the first incarnation of Blue Scheme, we made a practice recording of it (that was actually just a very small part of the song played over and over) that we put up on mp3.com for a time. Some music site in Japan jumped on it and gave it a glowing review. I don't remember what they said exactly, and I had to run it through Altavista's Babel Fish translator (ah, Douglas Adams, you are missed), but they seemed to like what we played quite a lot, even though it was recorded on a boom box.
In other news, I went to a voice over acting class last week. I'm going to go to another one tonight. I really enjoyed myself. Although I was just auditing the class last week, the instructor got me involved and I got to practice reading some ad copy. Then I tried it out in a soundproof booth and got to hear the results. Not great but not terrible, in my opinion, although some in the class wondered if I had done this before. That was comforting.
The students (participants? actors?) in the class were all very nice and welcoming. And they're all really freakin' good. Some of them have gotten some voice over work already, so it's nice to be in an environment with people who are already doing the types of things that I aspire toward.
I don't think it occurred to me until I was in this place surrounded by actors that this is another form of acting. I've occasionally dreamed of being an actor, but just never thought myself as particularly good at it. Granted, I never really tried that hard, but given that I'm as stiff as your garden-variety board on the dance floor (cedar planks could probably score higher on Dance Fever than I—where's Deney Terrio when you need him?) and a bit introverted in general, I just thought that this was your proverbial recipe for disaster. But being in a band has made me a bit more extroverted, and I've always had those tendencies but always kept them under wraps. I'm put off my people who are extroverted to the point of aggression, and I've always feared becoming that kind of person. But now I'm secure enough to know that I'm not and never will be.
So now I've got to learn to become a more convincing actor. I haven't had a lead role in a play since I was the king in 1985's smash-hit on the elementary-school circuit, "Soup for the King." When I, as the king, found out that there was no soup left, I rose forcefully from my seat at the dining table, knocking my chair into the next reign.
"What?! No soup?!"
Given that I was a leader by divine right, I put the fear of God in my loyal subjects with that one.
But you can guess how it ends. It's one of those "king meets soup, king loses soup, king gets cuter soup" stories. People laughed, cried, and said it was better than Cats. Perhaps not as good as Dogs, or its sequel, Fido and the Amazing Technicolor Milkbone, but I'm sure it was up there.
My time on the top of the acting world was short-lived, the descent was as swift, if not swifter, than the ascent. By 1986, I was cast as Dancing Man #2 in "Cinderella Swings." Why on earth they cast me as a dancing man (see above, Anam re: Dancing: Board, Stiff as a) is beyond me. It was beyond everyone else, too. I still distinctly remember some of the girls wondering out loud why they made me a dancer. They updated the play by putting in a "Soul Train" line during the dance sequence. What a Terrible Idea that was, at least for me. Thinking back on it, I'm sure I looked like I was doing an interpretive dance of a chart of the S&P 500. But I was too naive to care. I even added a slide at the end of the number at the front of the stage. Usually those are reserved for People In Crappy Dance Routines Who At the Very Least Know What They're Doing, but ah well. Though I was a ham, I was a ham on a mission. A ham with flair and panache.
I don't know when this play was written, but considering they used the word "gams" without being tongue-in-cheek, I'm going to assume they found this in a musty closet near a mimeograph machine, under some shorthand textbooks.